Tales of ordinary people who experienced the extraordinary.
Saved By the Ring
Studies show that married people live longer than singles. Donnie Register of Morton, Mississippi, is proof. Register was helping two customers in his antiques store when one of them aimed a gun at Register's head. "Just as he went to shoot, I threw my hand up," Register says. His gold wedding band (pictured) deflected a shot that surely would have killed him. "I don't know if I was just lucky or if I had other help," he says, "but it was wonderful either way."
In 2008 Bill Clark was driving through Connecticut with his beloved Airedale terrier, Max, when his convertible was struck by another car. In the confusion, Max bolted into the nearby woods. Clark, who lives 45 miles away, spent three weeks frantically searching. Then one day he came home and found Max sitting in the yard. "The vet said he had lost 11 pounds," Clark says. "I lost seven."
You have to be pretty brave to jump out of a plane—but you also have to be lucky to survive the leap with a faulty parachute. Lareece Butler had fate on her side in March, when she escaped a free fall of 3,000 feet with only a broken leg, a fractured pelvis, and a concussion. As Butler plummeted, the chute's ropes twisted around her. She later told reporters she had prayed, God save me, please; I have a son, but could recall nothing else until she woke up in the hospital, surrounded by her amazed and grateful family.
A Double Revival
Last Christmas Eve, Tracy Hermanstorfer's heart stopped beating while she was in labor with her third child, a boy she and her husband, Mike, had named Coltyn. Just after receiving an epidural for the pain, she lost consciousness and went into full cardiac arrest. Doctors attempted to revive her but couldn't, and began an emergency C-section to save the baby. But Coltyn was born limp and seemingly lifeless. "Half of my family was lying there right in front of me, dead," Mike said at the time. "I lost all feeling." Then, to his astonishment, Tracy's pulse returned, and moments later, Coltyn began to breathe. "I'm not big-time religious," says Tracy, "but I know this was in God's hands." Within a few days, mother and son were sent home with a clean bill of health.